Hyland – Weights and Measures
Record Label: Tooth & Nail
Release Date: May 3, 2011
“I write music about life. God, relationships and love are all things I’m passionate about and am deeply invested in. If I go through it, it comes out in my music.”
Sure enough, Jon Lewis stays true to his own words on Hyland’s debut record, Weights and Measures. The perfect fit for Tooth & Nail records, Hyland’s sound is a mix of the aggression and soaring hooks of Anberlin and Ivoryline. Picked up by Aaron Sprinkle himself, these guys have delivered one of the most buoyant, upbeat records of the year, as each hook soars. Now that Anberlin have moved on from T&N, perhaps Hyland can fill the void along with acts such as Ivoryline and The Almost.
The opening “whoa-whoa” of “Jumping The Gun” begins Weights and Measures, setting the tone for the fast-paced ride. The opener cements the aforementioned words of Lewis as he exercises his uplifting vocals through religious lyrics. Co-written with and featuring Anberlin’s own Stephen Christian, “The One That Got Away” has Anberlin written all over it, making it sure to become a fan favorite. On the other hand, “This Distance” and the intricate “Crying Out” mellow provide a calming change to the record, demonstrating a softer side to Hyland, as an acoustic guitar takes the lead.
The blistering “Fireworks” is as high-voltage as it gets here, with thick palm mutes paving the path behind the singing of “and still we say in God we trust / set our hearts to self-combust” on this socially conscious endeavor. Choir vocals enlighten the end of the cheery “Heart To Life,” arguably one of the most optimistic tracks on the record. A religious number at its finest, the final “Never” could be played on nearly any Christian rock radio station. Similarly, “Downhill” parallels “Never,” for the track proves to be one of the most diverse numbers on the record, another different view of Hyland, with the vocal range of Lewis shining.
However, as the record fades, the main standout is without a doubt “Coast To Coast." Poignancy bleeds throughout this track, as Lewis sings “the fear inside has me paralyzed / but this I know / that all that’s left is love / and who’s to say we don’t have it made.” The chilling final minute of the track is easily the best period on the record, as the musicianship of the band is top notch. The soaring vocals, pounding drums, and slick guitars create the climatic experience of "Coast To Coast," cementing it as the most memorable track on the record.
There’s no doubt that Hyland have found a perfect fit for their sound on Tooth & Nail Records. Sure to grow as they tour and meet with similar artists, their future couldn’t be brighter. For only a debut record, Weights and Measures has clearly set the proper path for the group. If they can continue to branch out – as accomplished on “Coast To Coast” – Hyland could possibly become a band like Anberlin in the near future.
I have just seen/heard on yt their album teaster from T&N and thought it might not sound to bad. So after reading this review, especially the RIYL, I can't wait to give them a try. I mean Anberlin, Ivoryline and SBR, all band I do like very much. And SBR being one of the few really good new assignments I got some hopes for Hyland.